Good morning sandwich relishes! I’ll just leave you with this half hour video of the Bauhaus Ballet, or Triadic Ballet as it was more commonly known. It’s truly weird and wonderful!
My bowl of love Bill Purnell did this adorable doodle for my surreal advice column Ask Maddie to go on my website. He does web design, book covers and commissioned art and graphics, just contact him. Also read the bio on his website, it’s hilarious.
Why not ask me the most surreal, the weirdest, most horror inspired question you can think of? Just follow this link.
Good day! My book made an appearance at Bizarrocon which is very exciting. Unfortunately I couldn’t but there’s always next year.
In my recent travels I discovered the weirdest hip hop artist I’ve ever seen (except perhaps the Hitcher from the Mighty Boosh), weirder even than this lady (rude lyrics of course) and that time MC Hammer tried to go gangster.
Sucka MC is a giant lollipop and appears to be affiliated with a group of artists including Cig Neutron who made the book Bizarro au-gogo, something I’m quite keen to get my surreal mitts on (will keep you updated). Have a peek.
Sucka MC Sugar High Promo Teaser
Sucka MC Lollipop That (song and picture only)
Sucka MC ft. Sugah Tits Krampudonk
Morning my little plum berries! I’ve been experiencing my usual lady health difficulties this last few days so I’m afraid this will be brief, but I’d like to share the work of an artist called David B Earle.
The first, titled Dining Room or There Is Nothing, is intended to play on an endless loop and is fairly well known for appearing on ‘creepy youtube films’ lists.
His site says “This short film flips back on itself. At exactly the midway point, the film begins to run backwards, and the sound repeats itself backwards with it. The character (Lea Porsager), speaks the three words backwards as the film goes forwards, so that they can be deciphered at the end of the film when they are played backwards.
When looped, there is no actual beginning or end, and no real sense of where the beginning and end actually are.
This piece was inspired by a personal paradoxical desire for empirical proof that there is nothing on the ‘other’ side of life.
I wanted to blur the distinction between the two states, and to state the paradox by showing someone who is coming back from life (or death), and denies its existence, thereby fulfilling the paradox.”
This one, probably a glimpse into my future, is called Deleted Scene (From An Imaginary Film):
This one, probably my favourite, was uploaded only 7 months ago, Getting Off:
Dry your eyes and stash the kleenex at the back of the cupboard, I have returned! I didn’t bring you any presents, no. Is that all our friendship is to you? Well, I did kind of bring presents, this amazingly beautiful and helpful blog post. Next time I shall share with you the morbid delights of the anatomy museum but, for now, Florence’s (mostly) light side.
As our walking tour guide said, Florence is like a living history museum with buildings from the medieval period, the Renaissance and much more. This is true, but to me it also feels like the scene in a fantasy novel or film where the hero is taken through an alleyway in a city and emerges in a fantastical market. All pictures taken by Bill Purnell.
Aqua Flor is a perfumery operating the same way since the Renaissance. Not only is the inside beautiful but the back opens onto a large room with statues, paintings and columns. Plus there’s a poison cabinet, what more could you ask?
The Uffizi Gallery is in the Piazza Della Signoria surrounded by public statues. The inside is a mix of statues and paintings and, when you’re in Florence, always look at the ceilings – you don’t want to miss the frescoes which are almost everywhere. Make sure you reserve a specific time slot, it’s a very popular place and you won’t want to spend hours queuing.
The Boboli Gardens is another place worth a visit. Again you can reserve which means you don’t have to queue. Unlike us, who reserved AND queued. Oh dear!
For any book lovers who can’t speak Italian, ie. me, there’s the Paperback Exchange. As well as a big range of new books including comics and graphic novels, students bring books back after lessons, so head for a room at the back and you’ll get them for around 5 euros. Hooray!
Our hotel, the Bernini Palace (beautiful, recommended definitely), was in Piazza di San Firenze and every morning I would step out in front of the building where Leonardo De Vinci began the Mona Lisa. Art is everywhere, from street art like Clet Abraham’s hacked road signs to statues or painting on almost every corner.
Warnings: Along with the joy, however, are a few important things to remember. The street sellers by the Cathedral are not licensed to sell. As they’re desperate people from war torn countries it’s tolerated but if you’re caught buying from them you’ll be fined. It’s often knock-off goods and if you want a nice leather wallet it’s best to get it from a shop.
Also, Gelatarias (gelato ice cream shops) with high mountains of the stuff aren’t as good as those with tubs. Basically, if you see very tall mounds of gelato, avoid it and go for something with flatter piles.
Bene! We are almost at an end, but before you whisk yourself off into the night have a peek at a very short video of beautiful things I saw on my travels. In it are the Piazza Della Signoria, Aqua Flor, Santa Maria Novella Pharmacia (another stunning perfumery, this time started by Monks) and the carousel among others. Farewell!
Australian artist Pip and Pop, aka Tanya Schultz, creates installations and artworks out of candy (sweeties), plastic and all kinds of bits and bobs. Just one look at a piece by her is enough to melt both your eyes and half your nose. It’s worth it though.
There’s something about the idea of a live, or even filmed, artistic portrait which excites my brain. Is it the blend of real and unreal? Is it the idea of a human being as an art piece? Clearly it’s something that’s interested artists for quite some time too from Piero Manzoni, who signed a live girl in the sixties, to Gilbert and George (see video below).
Let’s have a quick look at Warhol’s portraits, filmed in the 60s, also known as screen tests although they weren’t being tested for any films. Screentest.warhol.org says “Many of Warhol’s Screen Tests fit the standard formula—the subject and the camera almost motionless for the duration of the film, with the result as close to a “living portrait” as possible.
However, within this format, there are subtle variations. Starkly lit with a single lamp, a glowering Paul America and the intense Susan Bottomly are sharply contrasted by the dark background, while Ann Buchanan and Edie Sedgwick’s Screen Tests were fully lit, allowing the viewer to notice every subtle change in their almost unmoving faces.”
In a way, by candidly filming his followers, Warhol created not only the first reality stars but turned their often crazy and turbulent existences into lifelong portraits.
Also in the sixties playful British and German artists Gilbert and George, who have never quite been accepted by the establishment, became living, singing sculptures. Whitecube.com says “in their films and ‘living sculpture’ they appeared as figures in their own work. The artists believe that everything is a potential subject matter for their work, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos and artistic conventions.”
Avant garde artist and theatre director Robert Wilson, who has worked the likes of Tom Waits and Willem Dafoe (and now Lady Gaga), filmed his Voom Portraits in 2007. The actors used, including Steve Buscemi, Johnny Depp, Winona Rider and Isabella Rossellini, were told to “think of nothing and move slowly and steadily to collaborate in Wilson’s vision of who they might be.”
Winona Rider apparently appeared as “Winnie, the main female character in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, buried up to her neck in sand” while Robert Downey Jr was “a dreaming corpse in a Rembrandt painting.”
William Pope L:
In 2009 Antony Gormley was to create something for the fourth plinth, a stand in Trafalgar Square, London, which sports a different sculpture each year. He decided to make his piece us, to “see through a lens what the UK is really like.”
One and Other was a project which saw the public apply to stand at the top of the plinth for an hour each, for “100 consecutive days, 24 hours a day.” We became the artwork. One lady threw affirmations down as paper airplanes, another did science experiments, another blew bubbles, others made art while another did a burlesque routine. The possibilities were endless and apparently 2,400 people took part.
Man booing BNP:
This lady…wore pink and drank pink champagne. And why not?
Here’s a dancer and choreographer:
Ekow Eshun is the artistic director of the ICA and chairman of the Fourth Plinth commissioning group. He’s also quite hot (apologies for my objectifying eyes). Here he talks about why he chose the project:
Which brings us up to the Pageant of the Masters, which I only heard about the other day. Sounds like my cup of tea though. Apparently paintings have been re-created for two months each summer in Laguna Beach, California, since 1933.
The Festival of Arts website says “Over 500 volunteers from Laguna Beach and surrounding communities are transformed into life-sized re-creations of some of the world’s most famous paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.” Have a look at the video:
Right, I’m off to paint myself green and stand nude in the garden. Bye!